CFP: Issue 75 (2014) of Cahiers de Littérature Orale
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
The Other Voice of
This special issue
proposes to retrieve the world of orality among writers who show, in one way or
another, that their experience of the oral—whether it was cultural or personal,
fortuitous or much sought-after, subliminal or almost objective—is a matrix for
their literary writing. Long before ethnography mapped the
universes-without-writing, before occidental societies invented "oral
literature,” the classics of written literature took into account the worlds of
arises over the expression: is it an oxymoron? Isn't the expression "oral
literature” disqualified as a lexical, if not a semantic, aberration, through
conjoining two antonymic referents, letter and speech? Yet modern writers have
been fascinated by cultural and symbolic oral systems, whether full-voiced or
muted by history. Sometimes what is involved childhood reminiscence; sometimes
it is a later, chance discovery, seemingly a still-enigmatic, yet vital
unlocking of an obscure or luminous gap, a passage into an unsuspected
universe. These human or linguistic experiences of nearby or distant cultural
otherness may form the very material of the practice of literature, for people
of letters and paper. This was, for instance, the discovery of Jean Paulhan,
whose exotic experience of Malagasy proverbs was the first principle of his
thinking about language and writing; so too the discovery of Garcia Lorca, who
collected lullabies "in all the regions of Spain” because of their strong grip
on him. And after all, it was Flaubert’s scripture-like adventure to note his
hero’s countrified customs and then, through his laborious rewriting, to stylize
his original fictional ethnography in his final version.
Is the search for an
effect of the real, the quest for a lost orality the intersection of an
aesthetic interrogation and an anthropological question? So J. M. G. Le Clézio,
listening to a storyteller, achieved a certainty that there is such a thing as
Contributions for this
issue should aim not at showing linguistic features of folkloric or popular
orality in written literature, but at showing orality to be a cultural source
and linguistic resource for textual imaginaries commonly called literary.
Cahiers de Littérature
Orale (Oral literature journals), published by the Centre de Recherche sur
l’Oralité (Research Centre on Orality, now CERLOM), is one of the rare
French-language publications dedicated exclusively to orally transmitted texts.
Each issue (about 220 pages, two issues or one double a year) is articulated
around a topic related to the different facets of orality. It collects
discussions, articles, reports and information.
Proposals in French or English
should be sent before January 31, 2014 to Nicole Belmont (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Articles accepted should be submitted by April 30, 2014. Maximum length 6,000
words. See the note to authors in any issue of the journal.
Nicole Belmont (email@example.com)
Manon Brouillet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jean-Marie Privat (email@example.com)